Thousands join Black Nazarene procession amid terror threats

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Threats of terrorist attacks did not dampen the spirit of the Black Nazarene devotees here, who paraded in thousands to mark the patron saint’s feast Tuesday.

Police said some 200,000 individuals participated in this city’s version of the “traslacion” despite reported terror threats in Northern Mindanao.

The two-kilometer “traslacion”, which started at the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral and ended at the Black Nazarene Shrine, was peaceful and the devotees were well-behaved, said Chief Insp. Mardy Hortillosa, spokesperson for the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo).

Hortillosa said more than a thousand police officers and soldiers were deployed to secure the areas where the statue of the Black Nazarene—a replica given to a church here in 2009 that started the devotion of the patron saint outside Metro Manila—was to pass through.

The presence of law enforcers during the activity, Hortillosa said, was the factor why people had complied with the police advisory.(Jigger J. Jerusalem/PNA)